Goalkeeper Arian Beqaj was the hero for Anorthosis Famagusta FC as they held their nerve to become the first Cypriot club to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Fernando Belluschi got the only goal at a packed Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens, but with Beqaj in brilliant form, particularly in the second half, Anorthosis ensured their 3-0 first-leg victory a fortnight ago was too much for the Greek champions to overcome. As Temuri Ketsbaia's side made Cypriot football history, Olympiacos had to resign themselves to the fact they will be absent from Europe's top table for the first time since 1997.
With such a mountain to climb, Olympiacos needed an early goal to raise morale but instead they came up against a determined Anorthosis team whose tireless work rate, harrying and boundless energy kept the hosts at a safe distance from Beqaj's goal for most of the first half. Indeed it was Anorthosis who came closer to opening the scoring early on. Olympiacos centre-back Avraam Papadopoulos timed his intervention to perfection to clear from Vincent Laban as he shaped to shoot following fine work by Cédric Bardon.
Olympiacos were unable to hit their stride and the opening period ended without any major worries for the visitors. After the break Olympiacos coach Ernesto Valverde brought on Kostas Mitroglou to play up front alongside Darko Kovačević who had looked isolated. Olympiacos pushed up, pumping crosses into the Anorthosis box and firing in shots from distance.
They finally forced the breakthrough on 54 minutes when Belluschi beat Beqaj with a right-footed strike from outside the area. Duly buoyed, Olympiacos streamed forward but could find no way past Beqaj again as Anorthosis defended in numbers. First the Albanian keeper made a superb double stop from Mitroglou on 57 minutes, then he dived right to turn away Luciano Galletti's strike. On 64 minutes he saved again to deny Belluschi a second goal.
Olympiacos were driven to desperate measures and the stress told in the last ten minutes when too often they made the wrong decision in promising attacking positions. With defenders Andreas Constantinou, Nikos Katsavakis and Traianos Dellas leading the resistance, Anorthosis held firm to celebrate an unprecedented night of success for Cypriot football.